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The Tyrannosaurus Game Hardcover – March 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761456031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761456032
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 11.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #729,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 1—On a rainy day, 12 children sit in a circle in their classroom to make up a story. Jimmy begins by telling how a tyrannosaurus crashed through the window of his house while he was eating breakfast Saturday morning. On successive spreads, each child adds to the story with a sentence or two that sends the hapless dinosaur on a chaotic chase onto a bus, through a playground, onto some amusement-park rides, and eventually coming to a stop in a topiary garden where the children try to hide him from the cops. Schindler does his best to add some excitement to the stilted narrative by drawing the tyrannosaurus as a huge, mean-looking beast thrust into absurd situations surrounded by an increasing mob of kids. Although the story could have some merit as an example of a familiar type of storytelling game, the adventure itself is rather pointless and the ending is too abrupt. This picture book does not live up to its promising title.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

On a rainy day, a classroom’s 12 students pass the time by telling a progressive story about imaginary adventures with a dinosaur. Jimmy begins the story on a Saturday, when all of a sudden during breakfast, “a tyrannosaurus came crashing through the window.” Each of Jimmy’s multicultural classmates continues the plot with a simple and short addendum. Their ideas range from the silliness of a dinosaur on a seesaw to straightforward sentences that just move things along: “I was on a swing . . . and then I jumped off and ran.” Most of the interest is generated by the ink, gouache, and watercolor illustrations, which provide details of the town’s destruction described in the story after the T. rex gets loose. Stronger in concept than in execution, this offering nevertheless ends on a winning note with a final visual scene in which the kids cleverly hide the dinosaur from the police, who are hot on their trail. Teachers may want to use this to initiate some collaborative, rainy-day storytelling in their own classrooms. Grades K-2. --Andrew Medlar

More About the Author

Steven grew up in New York City, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Steven's parents were very stylish. His father had a mustache and wore suits with a vest and a watch chain. His mother wore fashionable dresses and big hats. She was a great storyteller, which is probably where his love of telling stories began.

But he also had his Upper West Side neighborhood, a wonderful ethnic stew of Jewish, Latino, Chinese, and Viennese. Wandering those streets, experiencing the restaurants and the pastry shops, the delicatessens and the movie theater, the corner drug store and the corner book shop, Steven began to recognize a wider world, a world outside his own that would make him want to tell stories, travel, and be a writer.

Many of his books have come out of that neighborhood. The kids in his building all played downstairs together, under the watchful eye of Gordon, the doorman. The sharing they did can be found in THE BIGGEST PUMPKIN EVER and its sequels. The bullying, followed by sharing, can be found in JUNGLE BULLIES. The spark for his two novels of Italian immigrants in 1890's New York, SWEET AMERICA and WHEN I DREAM OF HEAVEN, came from hours listening to his night watchman, Tony, tell stories in the lobby after my Saturday night dates.

And there was Riverside Park, just a block away, where he played stickball near the railroad yards and cowboys and Indians on the green lawns, and where he watched an endless parade of dogs that morphed into an endless parade of dog stories, from IS MILTON MISSING?, his very first book, to A TALE OF TWO DOGS and POOCH ON THE LOOSE, his ode to New York at Christmastime.

Steven attended Hunter College Elementary School and McBurney. From there, he went to Harvard, graduating with a degree in American History and Literature. He decided to become an editor instead of a writer, improving other people's books instead of writing his own. But finally, he had to get out of publishing and write. He moved to Maine and struggled, writing now for both children and adults. Four years later, back in New York, Steven met a children's book editor named Margery Cuyler, who was the first to publish his work. He wrote 100 books for children, everything from picture books to American history to novels for young adults.

Steven married a journalist, Kathleen Beckett, and lived in NYC and an old carriage house in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He spoke at schools and conferences all over the world.

Steven Kroll passed away on March 8, 2011 following complications from surgery. He was the beloved author of the New York Times Bestseller's list "Biggest Ever" series from Scholastic. Two writing awards have been established in Steven's name: the Steven Kroll/PEN American Center Award for the best text of an illustrated children's book, and the Steven Kroll Writing Award, given to a deserving student at St. Joseph's School in the Bronx.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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The illustrations are very vibrant.
B. McCarthy
Though she liked the first few pages, she eventually found the story tedious and didn't really find it very funny.
OutlawPoet - In a Corrupt Stew
Their teacher suggested that they play a game and Jimmy jumped at the chance to start one.
D. Fowler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Bennett VINE VOICE on March 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My daughter is in kindergarten, and one of the things they do is put together books of quotes from the kids about how to cook a Thanksgiving turkey, or how to catch a leprechaun. The Tyrannosaurus Game is very much like that - a group of second or third graders is bored on a rainy day, and their teacher gives them the idea of playing a round-robin storytelling game.

The students all sit in a circle, and each student gets to add one page to the story. The students are introduced by their cartoon picture and their name on the first page, so you know who is adding what to the story.

In this story, a Tyrannosaurus comes crashing through the window of one the students, and then proceeds to have a series of destructive adventures through their town, including sneezing and blowing people over, riding on a motorbike through town, and even riding a roller coaster with the kids.

The flow from page to page is terrific for reading out loud, so this is a book that teachers, librarians and classroom helpers will enjoy.

However, there was little factual information shared about dinosaurs, or even about the characters in the book. This was purely a work of fun, fiction with no information conveyed. It was a fun illustration of how to play a story-telling game, and as such, would make a good jumpstart for using that kind of game in your own classroom on a rainy day.

I was disappointed in the vocabulary choices and the portrayals of authority figures, such as the use of "cops" to refer to police officers. The "man who takes the tickets" at the merry-go-round was also treated badly, being elderly and knocked over, and the mother whose home was so rudely opened up by the dinosaur is pictured ineffectually swatting at the beast with a wooden spoon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By OutlawPoet - In a Corrupt Stew TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I loved the illustrations in this book and thought that the book did a good job of humorously portraying storytelling games.

I wish I could say the same for my daughter.

Though she liked the first few pages, she eventually found the story tedious and didn't really find it very funny. She did stay with it, but hated the end. It was a very abrupt ending without any real conclusion.

Once we were done, this one went back on the shelf and hasn't been referenced since.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CGScammell TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This starts out as a cute story that is build on the imagination of a class of 12 elementary students. It's raining outside, the kids are bored so they decide to build a story. One of the boys, Jimmy, starts out with a T-Rex crashing through his dining room window. The short plot then builds on this as he walks through town before disappearing. Or does he?

The language is simple, the illustration pleasing to the eye. An alert child may pick up the hint at the end of the book, but for a child listening to this story it's hard to discover the true end of the narrative. However, a creative reader can work on a child's imagination and do a similar round-robin like story with listeners, be they students or their own children. This may involve parental involvement, but it can be done.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The whole classroom was bored, bored, bored as they looked outside at the pouring rain. Their teacher suggested that they play a game and Jimmy jumped at the chance to start one. They all gathered around in their circle area and and he explained, "I know, I'll start a story. And pass it on to Ava." Around the circle it would go until it came all the way around to Jason who would end it. Jimmy began by saying, "Last Saturday, I was eating breakfast, when all of a sudden a tyrannosaurus came crashing through the window." Crash! The tyrannosaurus was wearing the window sill around his neck and his toes were resting on the wall.

Ava claimed she saw that tyrannosaurus slurping up the rest of Jimmy's breakfast and made a BIG mess. Susan kept the story rolling when she said she was heading to soccer practice and saw "Jimmy and Ava were pushing a big tyrannosaurus" right out the door." Naturally that big dino was checking out the fridge. Roberto said he was at the bus stop when "Jimmy and Ava and Susan and a tyrannosaurus came flying out onto the street." That dino was moving right along. Rusty, Benjamin, Jasmine, Emily, Rachel, Sophia, Tommy, and Jason all saw him, but somehow that tyrannosaurus mysteriously disappeared. How could he have hidden from the whole classroom?

This is a marvelously creative "story story" tale about a mischievous tyrannosaurus. There is an old drama game, story story, that is reenacted during circle time by a very bored classroom. The rainy day activity turns into a wild and zany game that builds upon the imaginations of the children. The story is begun by Jimmy and picked up by each youngster and, of course, the tale gets to be quite a tall one by the time it gets back to Jason. The artwork, rendered in ink, gouache, and watercolor, is detailed, exciting and quite appealing. There are plenty of dino lovers who would definitely get a kick out of this runaway t-rex!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By new yorker VINE VOICE on May 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you child likes Dinosaurs, this book should be amusing enough, for a few reads.

It's raining, so Jimmy dreams up a game in which he'll start a story , then pass it on to his classmates to add on to.This idea could be used in the classroom to encourage creative writing/storytelling.

It's lavishly illustrated.

The story could be better. The titular Tyrannosaurus is much too much of a tamed creature for my taste. Perhaps a different Dinosaur species would have served the piece better. OK I'm nit picking but the Tyrannosaurus eats the breakfast eggs instead of the people.

The text also repeats the names of the children through out, perhaps as a tool for a memorization exercise.

Only giving it four stars because like The Hanukkah Mice , by Steven Kroll , which wasn't really about Hanukkah, I feel this book isn't really about Tyrannosaurus.

Still it has redeeming merits and is recommended.
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